Driving around Miami, especially beautiful Miami Beach, is interesting and fun on a nice day. However, Miami also has some of the worst traffic woes in the entire state of Florida. There are more accidents in Miami-Dade County than anywhere else in the state, according to Safe Roads USA. Miami is not only heavily congested, it also has some road safety issues due to the number of potholes on the city’s roads.
Miami is also a hotspot for another problem and that is the abundance of careless and reckless drivers on its roads. The leading cause of car accidents in Miami is reckless or careless driving, which includes:
- Disregarding traffic signs
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Not adjusting driving to road conditions
- Not adjusting driving to adverse weather conditions
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, a Miami Beach reckless driving lawyer may be able to help. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (844) 638-1822 today for a free case evaluation.
Definition of Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a major moving traffic violation and a criminal offense in the United States. In Florida, punishment for reckless driving is much more extensive than punishment for careless driving and includes not only fines but also jail time. Depending on the specifics of the incident, reckless driving can carry misdemeanor or felony penalties.
The Florida Statute § 316.1925 makes a distinction between careless and reckless driving, with careless driving being the lesser offense. Careless driving is generally seen as a “slip-up” and momentary carelessness by a driver. A careless driver does not intend to harm others.
Reckless driving, however, includes the verbiage of “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” according to Florida Statute § 316.192. The statute goes on to say that if any serious bodily harm is suffered by reckless driving, it is a felony of the third degree, and punishable as such.
Additionally, if proven that the reckless driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as a further penalty the court will direct the offender to undergo a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation.
Willful and Wanton Conduct
The definition of what constitutes a reckless driver as opposed to careless driver hinges on the words “willful” and “wanton.” Willful is an illegal act that is carried out intentionally, while wanton implies an unprovoked and malevolent act.
In order to hold someone liable for injury or wrongful death on the basis of reckless driving, proving willful and wanton conduct is necessary. It is simply not sufficient to prove a driver’s carelessness or negligence alone.
Every accident is different and needs careful examination. Establishing whether a driver’s actions or inactions can be classified as reckless is not a straightforward process and needs in-depth analyses of all the facts and evidence.
If you or any of your family members suffered from injuries due to an accident with a reckless car driver, it could be in your best interest to contact a Miami Beach reckless driving lawyer who can analyze your unique case and discuss your legal options with you. At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we help you determine whether you have a case and move forward with the process should you wish. There is no obligation. Call us today for your free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a reckless driving accidents lawyer, call (844) 638-1822
Compensation in Reckless Driving Cases
If you have been injured in an accident with a reckless driver, you have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for your damages and injuries. Some of the compensation you could receive includes, but is not limited to, the following economic damages:
- Medical expenses relating to the accident
- Medical equipment such as crutches or wheelchair
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle and other damaged property
You may also receive noneconomic damages. These types of damages are not quantifiable by monetary amounts through receipts or bills, and can include the following:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of the use of a sense
- Loss of a limb
- Pain and suffering
Reckless driving is a serious crime. While punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases in general, reckless driving can result in a defendant having to pay punitive damages. These damages are not intended to compensate a plaintiff but instead act as a deterrent for particularly negligent and criminal behavior. Punitive damages punish a particularly reckless driver who has been acting with extreme negligence. A jury typically awards punitive damages, and such awards can take a settlement above and beyond the amounts recoverable in compensatory damages alone.
These are just some examples of the types of compensation you could receive. Speaking with a Miami Beach reckless driving lawyer can help you find out more about the specific compensation and amounts you might receive if you hold a reckless driver accountable.
Reckless Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (844) 638-1822
Let a Miami Beach Reckless Driving Lawyer Help
An accident with a reckless driver can be traumatizing and you might still be healing from your physical and emotional injuries. Perhaps you are afraid of initiating a lawsuit during a difficult time. We understand your concerns, but it is in your best interest to seek justice and compensation for your losses as soon as you can. Under the Florida statute of limitations, you generally have four years to file a personal injury case, starting with the date of the accident. While this may seem like a good amount of time, the sooner you start the process, the sooner you may be able to receive compensation to help with your recovery process. Also, consider that memories fade over the years and witnesses might move away. There can be a distinct disadvantage in waiting too long to initiate legal action.
If you have been the victim of a reckless driver in Miami Beach, we may be able to secure a fair settlement on your behalf. We work on a contingency fee basis. You pay nothing out of pocket and nothing up front. Our law firm takes its fee from the settlement we get you. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC now at (844) 638-1822 for your free, no-risk consultation.